Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Some loose photos

I was browsing through my pictures and found a few to share.
Stairway to Heaven viewpoint.
I can say with absolute certainty that this was September 15. I've always thought that this man aged well, but he's looking a little advanced for a one-year-old.
The Blue Angels. They were every bit as loud and amazing as when I saw them as a little tyke.

Pretty sure that they're at the amount of G's a normal person throws up at.
Couldn't resist. 
All six in formation. 
At Tantalus with the 'rents! 
Doggie on beach.
Big waves on North Shore.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Senior Survival in Action

When you go through Pathfinders, standard first aid training or wilderness survival you might catch yourself yawning in the back of an info session thinking, "Yes, this is fun. But when am I ever going to use this?" Your instructors look at you knowingly and tell you that you will never know when the need will arise so to sit up and pay attention, so you do. You never know when you will need it...

It was Friday afternoon. Michael and I stood at the bottom of Olomana, a three tiered peek in Kailua, with five excited teenagers ready to climb. Michael had set up this outing for one of his classes who had expressed an interest in climbing the peek together. As it so happened, only two members of that particular class were in attendance but the remaining three were every bit as excited to be there. 
We would be climbing the tallest peek on the left.
After checking in with the guard at the gate, and being warned to watch out for wild boar and the fierce winds at the top of the peeks, out motley crew set out for adventure, our spirits high and feet determined. 

The hike up was hot yet steady. Michael hiked at the front and I at the back. We stopped periodically for water, rest and scenery breaks and before long we had made our way up to the top. The view was breathtaking. You could see everything from Waimanalo in the south to Chinaman's hat up north. The ocean in front of us was a vivid cerulean blue and the green of the Ko'olau mountain range at our backs made you feel as if you had stepped into the Emerald City in Oz. It was one of those places where you could close your eyes and imagine that you were in the garden of Eden. 

As we began our decent we made note of a few things. One was that it was 4 p.m. and we had told the parents we would be back by 4:30 p.m. Since it had taken us an hour and a half to get up and about 25 minutes to drive to the trailhead, we waved goodbye to our estimated return time, figuring that the parents would rather have their children back in once piece as opposed to not at all. (At least this was my train of thought.) The second thing we noted was that getting down the mountain could be just as challenging as going up. The grade was steep and numerous protruding roots made the trail uneven and somewhat treacherous. We all would need to be careful. 

Our group began its decent shortly after 4 and broke off into slightly scattered groups of twos and three. I took off in the lead with the student I had hiked up with figuring that the others would catch up soon and we would finish at about the same time. As time went on however and we continued to hike, there was no sign of other members of our group. Nearing the end of the trail, we stopped and waited for about 10 minutes but then continued on to the guard station when mosquitoes began their dinner with a vengeance. Again we waited but no one came. After awhile we saw two people coming and I noticed that they were the couple who had been behind our group while we were hiking. As they passed I asked them if they had seen anyone on their way down to which the woman replied, "Oh! Were you apart of the group with the girl that sprained her ankle?" Cold sweat. Deep breath. Action plan. Call Michael. 

"Hello, this is Michael." 
"Hey honey. What's going on?" 

What was going on was this. As my charge and I were racing down the mountain, somewhere a little over halfway up one of our girls had stepped wrong and turned her ankle. When Michael got to her, he assessed the situation and found that it was just a bad sprain, but sprains as we all know can be just as debilitating as breaks when you're on a mountain. Getting out his first aid kit he had gone to work trying to immobilize her ankle, but nothing seemed to be working. "Can you come up and set it for us?" he asked. 

"Sure," I said. "I'll be right up." Hanging up the phone, I looked at my charge. He was tuckered out. The first climb up had been challenge enough for him, say nothing of an encore. But knowing that I couldn't leave him alone with a complete stranger, the man at the guard station, I looked at him sympathetically and said, "I'm sorry man, but we've got to go." 

All I've got to say is that God is good. On our second trip up the mountain we both got a second wind. I was pushing hard, but knew that if I over did it, we would have two injured kids to deal with and not just one. But he just kept on going, one foot after another. Such a brave little soldier. 

As we walked I was racking my brain for ideas on how to set her ankle. At one point in college I had studied to be a physical therapist and one of the classes I took dealt with sports injuries. As I went over what needed to be done in my head I realized that I had none of the materials I needed to do the job properly. What was I going to do?  It was like I had been in a huge natural disaster and had nothing to work with... And that's when it hit me. Senior survival. Looking around I started searching for the materials that I would need. By the time we finally reached Michael I had a pretty good idea of what I was going to do. 

Seeing that dusk was approaching, Michael had stopped waiting for us and started carrying the student down the mountain, taking care not to bump her foot along the way. The ankle had started to swell a little and she was in pain but all in all it didn't look too bad when I arrived. Checking the first aid kit to see if there was anything useful therein, (there wasn't), I found the two sturdiest branches I could and then looked around for something that I could use to lash them to her leg. When I saw it I grinned. "Honey, I'm sorry but you're going to lose your shirt." Michael laughed and dutifully peeled of his mud-stained ASWWU Tee. "It's ok. This one was ruined anyway." 

In a few short minutes we had reduced his shirt to strips and used them and the lengths of wood to splint her ankle. That done the boys joined wrists in a basket carry and we took her down to safety. 

Never let it be said that senior survival is a pointless exercise. 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Surfer, Heather Lee

Today I learned many things. I learned how to put my bicycle on the bike rack of a city bus, I learned that it is not wise to thinking about surfing whilst driving, that cycling and skirts don't mix and lastly that my name is actually Heather. Intrigued? Let's continue. 

The skirt and the bike rack 
 Today I worked at our curb side Kiosk. This meant that instead of getting to work by 5:30 I had to be in at 5. This wasn't a big deal because I would be leaving at roughly the same time, but I since I didn't want to be at the bus stop at 4:30 I decided that I would ride my bike. Since it's only 3 miles or so down to Waikiki I figured I could easily make it in under 30 minutes, but wanting to give myself plenty of time I left at 4:30 anyway. 

I must say, it really was a nice trip. Because it was 4 am I didn't have to fight traffic of any kind and also because it was 4, there was no sun to sweat under. Oh thank heaven. There were only two annoyances on the way in: 
1. Regardless of the fact that our bike is a woman's cruiser designed with a lovely dip in the frame to accommodate female attire, my skirt was repeatedly caught in the back wheel. 
2. At one particular stoplight a car with three eastern European twentysomethings pulled up and started chatting at me. "Hey how fast does your bike go?"(Quietly Summer replies, "Fast enough.") "You wanna race?" ("If you want to loose...") "Maybe we should just take your bike now!" (Thinking: "Holy crap. They're going to steal my bike! Dang it Summer! Why can't you just keep your mouth shut!") 
The light turns green. They rev their engine and peel out. I breathe a sigh of relief and slowly bring my bike up to top speed of 10 miles per hour. 

Working at the kiosk was fun and exciting. The people who came in were of a different breed then those who normally frequent our pool side shop. In contrast to the "Medium decaf iced soy late with a half pump of hazelnut, 1 pump of sugar free vanilla and nonfat whipped cream" coffee drinkers, kiosk customers are your no frills types who just want their coffee so they can function. It doesn't matter what it tastes like, just give it to me now. Please.  I admit, I like their straight forward approach. 

In addition to the new customers, I got to work with cool Steven (Yes. Joke fail Steven. Thankfully i've let that whole issue go). It turns out that Steven is a complete Halloween junkie. During our shift he regaled me with fantastic stories of Halloweens past, of winning $500 prizes with $5 costumes, terrifying tourists with his fake dead body, and his plans to win multiple prizes this year with his ever improving scarecrow serial killer costume. Suddenly baker Steven seems a little more bad ass and terrifying. But in a cool way. 

Before I knew it my shift was over and it was time to go home. I had planned to stay in Waikiki to learn how to surf from one of our regulars Justin, but when I called he said that all the boards were rented out and maybe we could go later in the day. Yeah, ok. So I unlocked my bike and got ready to head home. That's when I discovered the flat. -sigh- Oh bother. It looks like I will be walking my bike home instead. 

Not too keen on walking my 20 lb bike 3 miles uphill at noon, I made the executive decision to strap it onto the front of my bus and ride home instead. For the sake of time, because this story is rapidly turning into a journal entry rather than a short concise blog, we'll just say that the first bus came, I tried to take down the bike rack, got flustered, failed and ended up waving the diver on rather sheepishly. (They don't get out and help you here.) Pride hurt, I started walking. After 3 blocks I read myself a stern lecture on the idiocy of pride and asked for help. When the second bus came, I followed the directions I had been given and executed the process flawlessly. Score for the home team!

I met Justin at the surf shop shortly after three. Donning my rash guard so I would at least look the part, we picked up our boards and set out in search of surf. As we began I felt pretty good. "Hey, this isn't as bad as I thought it would be," I mused as we headed out into open water. A minute passed. And then two. "Hey, just so you know, if you get tired I can tow you if you want," Justin called from ahead of me. "How humiliating..." I joked.  2 minutes later my arms began to burn and I realized that there was no way that I was going to make it out to where we were going to be surfing. A minute after that, much to my relief and prideful dismay, Justin towed me the remaining distance.  

From there, things got a lot better. We went over the basics and I began the process of rolling, turning, planking, kneeling, and eventually standing! It was genius! I missed a lot of waves but I did stand up for several and actually managed to ride two for a significant amount of time. On the car ride home I was so caught up in remembering the feeling of riding the wave that I nearly drifted into a car in the other lane. Note to self. Don't think about surfing while driving. 

I have noticed a disturbing trend since my freshman year of college. I have found that if someone didn't know my name they would automatically default to "Heather." Strange but true. This afternoon when I got back from surfing I received a sign from the universe that perhaps I had been misnamed. I opened my mailbox and saw not one, but TWO Real Simple magazines waiting for me! "Strange," I thought. "Who is this other one for?" When I read the address label I nearly fell over laughing. 

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Summer's pie making life was officially over.

Friday Night Dinner

Vegetarian Chili
 Homemade honey cornbread 
 Apple Pie

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

New Job

I am entering my second week of work and settling into the groove of my shop. I still feel like there are heaps that I don't know but I know enough to get by fairly well. 

All days up to this one have been fine but today, gosh today. Today just was wrong from the get-go. No doubt it started on Sunday when I wore THE WRONG shoes to work. Whoever said Dansko's were miracle shoes was full of poop. After wearing my set for 6 hours and then traipsing around a mall for 2 more I was on the verge of hysterics when we arrived at home. When I peeled off my torturous clodhoppers I discovered that I had developed one blister on the small toe of my left foot and had started two more right where the shoes buckled. Just great. 

Because we are required to wear full on shoes to work, rather than the sandals my pained feet would much rather have run around in, those two sore spots were irritated throughout my shift yesterday and because I didn't want to rub the rather impressive pinky blister, I compensated by walking differently. Translation: I developed a weak-ass limp.

That brings us up to today where we find me running around at break neck speeds to fill orders with a limp and a mean blister. I now have another blister on the side of the foot I was overcompensating on. 

Here's what else contributed to my less than awesome day:

1. For the second day in a row our till doesn't open when we ring up the first customer. Or the second. Our boss is at the other shop and is not answering the phone. We deal. I give customer #1 a free drink card for having to wait. Not sure if I can technically do that, but whatever. 

2. I have developed sensitive patches on the fingers of my right hand, no doubt from wiping down the piping hot steam wands. This is inconvenient since I work with hot pots of milk all day long. 

3. I started making breakfast sandwiches yesterday. I was given a crash course on how to make 3 of the 6. It seemed ok at the time, but when a huge order came in all at once and 3 of the 4 were ones I didn't know how to make, I panicked. I knew what needed to go on them but not how long each of the elements needed to be nuked in the microwave. (I know. We're high tech.) So, because people were busy up front I made an educated guess. A few minutes later during a lull I asked my boss how the sandwiches were supposed to be made and she told me. She then pointed to a sheet 6 inches away from my face that had instructions on how to make each of the them from start to finish. "If you ever forget, you can use that." Fail. 

4. We all know what an affinity I have for jokes. Well, I got to telling some today with one of my co-workers who I consider to be pretty high on the "cool" scale. I had told him a few which he had laughed at but then was slightly dismayed when he ranked them on his pitty/cute scale. Sifting through my arsenal I tried to figure out what his joke style was, because as we know everyone differs. I finally figured it out and he in turn told me a joke which contained subject material that I was unsure about. Figuring that I could deduce what said material was by contextual clues I said that yes I knew what "(insert whatever it was here)" was. Bad gamble. Said material was something made up for this joke alone and wasn't related to anything that I could have remotely known. So what did I do? After laughing I looked confused and then enlightened saying, "Oh! I thought you said (....)"  Did he buy it? Well, he did lower his voice when he said it so maybe, but methinks maybe not. So I dwelt on THAT and how big of an idiot I was for the remainder of my shift. Happy thoughts....

So anyway, that's pretty much it. Not so bad I suppose, but they all just seemed to add up. I still left smiling because I really do like my job but it was just a less than stellar day. I look forward to my day off tomorrow. 

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Little Red Car!

This is our new car!  It's a '99 Cheve Geo Metro. 
34 miles per gallon

Fits two boogie boards in the "trunk."
...and 5 people in the back. If you're REALLY determined. 
Name suggestions?